Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Creating Artist Trading Cards - ATCs

Posted by ChrissyTina (Christina):

A lot of people ask what the point of an ATC is.  An artist trading card is kind of like your “calling card” only without the contact information.  Other artists actually trade and collect them and it’s not hard to find swaps going on involving ATCs.

This is my first time making ATCs, and I’ll be honest with you.  For me, it was a challenge to work on such a small “canvas”.  I’m accustomed to 12x12 or larger altered items. However, these are great to try out new techniques, experiment, and just go wild! 

I chose to do six of these mighty miniatures to try out different styles and techniques that I wouldn’t normally use on a regular scrapbooking page.

My first ATC has a mix of techniques and details.  I sewed, added trim, used gel medium, and stamped.  The flower is fussy cut from paper from the Basic Grey's Indie Bloom 6x6 paper pad.  The victorian image is from my stash.  

I turned it into an acrylic embellishment by using Diamond Glaze or Glossy Accents and gluing a Tim Holtz acrylic "Fragment" on top of it.  My blingage and gold beads are from the orange and gold multi-media kit by Art-C Studios.  The background paper is by Prima from their "Alla Prima" 6x6 pad.

My next several cards are a bit more straight forward and simplistic.  I used a flowers and 7 Gypsies overlay from my stash.  The patterned paper is by Prima as well.  

The bling is from the red and purple mixed media kit by Art-C Studios.  To add visual interest and a bit of subtle color, I colored the overlay using Copic markers.  I finished of the card by trimming the edges with Kaiser Craft's Natural Lace pack.

For the next card, I cut the papers into fine strips and adhered them to the ATC using Mod Podge.  Collaging is an amazing way to add unique visual interst and depth.  The purple bead trim and overlay are from my stash.

The banner used on this card is from my stash, as are the beads.  The patterned paper is from Indie Bloom by Basic Grey.

artist trading cards atc

This next card is more whimsical and fun.  I wanted to play with paints and twine.  I wanted to keep the illusion of a canvas so I didn't add any trim around the edges and I roughed up the acrylic pant using a sanding block.  Twine was used to add accenting and highlighting.

artist trading cards atc

The final ATC I made uses more layering and some framing.  The frame, gray flower, and circus tent die cut are from my stash.  The flower is from Basic Grey.  The beads, mah jong die cut, and elephant are from my Art-C Studios kits.  

I cut the frame out from another ATC and mounted to my foundational piece.  I used a foam pad and dabbed Glimmer Mist  onto the background and hand painted some yellow scroll work, which got covered up.  I accented the flowers on the corner of the frame using regular acrylic paint.  My circus tent is painted and sanded.  I added some green swirls and a bead to keep it interesting.

artist trading cards atc

I find that ATCs are a great tool to explore different art stylings and techniques.  Thank you for taking a look and I hope you picked up some inspiration and an idea or two!

Products used:

lime twist
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